"All I wanted was a chance to show what I could do"
"It was very frustrating not being able to find a job," said Richard, who has a hearing impairment. "I kept getting told I lacked experience, but all I wanted was a chance to show what I could do."
He received help setting up his new venture from Remploy. Susan Bradley-White, an employment advisor with Remploy's team in Lancashire was supporting Richard with his job searching when she heard of an opportunity to start a franchised business selling eggs.
"Richard had never considered self-employment but when he found out more about what was on offer he realised it was a great opportunity - and that Remploy would still be there to provide him with expert advice," said Susan.
Richard's franchised business, Joe Brown's Egg Round, takes its name from an enterprise established six years ago in Penwortham near Preston by Joe Brown, who has Asperger syndrome. Like Richard, Joe became an entrepreneur when his job applications were rejected. He now has more than 500 customers and scooped a prestigious Barclays Trading Places award just one year after starting his business.
Explaining why he decided to franchise the operation he said: "Running the business has turned my life around. I now have Richard as a franchisee business partner and I am proud and excited that such a simple idea has started to grow beyond my local community."
Richard, who combines his new career with being a student at Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL), Lancashire County Council's adult learning service, has been nominated for the Foundation Learner Award by his tutors. LAL works in Partnership with Remploy, providing a specialised Remploy work club and several other bespoke courses.
Find out more about hearing impairments with our A-Z of disabilities